April 16, 2019
Community Response to Attack in New Zealand Mosque
This story comes from Steven Beumer, Parish Deacon at St. John, Winter Park

The Central Florida community came together on a beautiful Saturday afternoon to promote Peace, Unity and Harmony. The event was a joint effort of Muslims and Christians to speak out against hate and to promote justice around the world. A panel of ten speakers ranging from the City of Sanford Manager and the Sanford Police Department Chaplain to Muslim and Christian faith leaders.
All of the ten speakers emphasized the need for working and living together with a sense of understanding and compassion. Mr. Bonopart related the strides made in Sanford since the dark days of the Trevon Martin death. He gave several positive examples of how Sanford is living out the goal working and living together.  
All of the faith leaders pointed to common features that we all share and the need to emphasize that strength. The speakers all pointed to the history of our faiths and the teachings in the Koran and the Bible to live in peace with each other. Imam Khan of the American Muslim Community Center talked about the tribes that God made on Earth and implored that we all live in peace and support each other.

Parish Deacon Steven Beumer of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Winter Park related how each of us are made in God’s image and that each of us have great value. He stated that the hate represented in New Zealand could only be defeated by events such as today, with all of us working together, so that ultimately Love Wins.  
The event concluded with the 200+ crowd mingling and getting know each other. Everyone left with a renewed spirit and commitment to hold many such events in the future.  
Register for Synod Assembly by May 1. Click video to learn more.
Thanks to the people of People of Faith, Winter Garden, for helping with this video.
Synod Assembly Service Project
This year's Synod Assembly Service Project is focusing on providing supplies and support for Community Hope Center in Orlando. The Community Hope Center’s mission is to provide assistance to all those in need in the Osceola County community. They secure a “no wrong door” policy and are committed to providing resources or referrals for those who are actively searching for assistance and who are willing to forge a path towards self-sufficiency. Community Hope Center currently serves over 1,100 homeless and low-income families (25,000 + individuals, of which 5,000+ are children). Nearly all adults being served have jobs, and they can’t even make it living paycheck to paycheck.

Each congregation is asked to participate in this synod-wide service project in some way.  You may pick one of the following, or a couple, or all. Every little bit makes a difference! Be creative! Be generous! Have fun! Be the blessing to this ministry that will change lives for our working poor in Osceola county! And know you are going to make a huge difference in the lives of people who really need to see what the love of Jesus is all about.
  • Encourage your congregation to write out prayers on 3X5 index cards (one side only) that will be collected at the synod assembly. Community Hope Center has a chaplain on site and there is a prayer corner with prayer requests posted. We want to visibly flood the board with prayers from all over the synod!
  • RECEIVE A “NOISY OFFERING.” Checks are great, but collecting coinage and bringing that to the assembly to put into the large water jug with everyone else’s coins is a great visual. Last year we collectively filled a five gallon water container (and then half of a second one!) before the assembly was done. This is a simple way to engage all ages in the congregation to help!! The coins received will go towards 2 new large TVs that are needed for meetings, trainings, and networking with the community.
  • COLLECT WAL-MART GIFT CARDS. Any amount, but only Wal-Mart.
  • COLLECT ITEMS FROM YOUR CONFERENCE LIST. We have taken the needs expressed by the Community Hope Center and divided them among each of our conferences. Please refer to the list on the synod web siteWhen donating food items, please write the expiration date on the top of the box/can and cross out the bar code. It would be great if you would use a blue bin as your collection area, bring your items to synod assembly in this bin, and then the bin is also part of your donation to Community Hope Center (details on the web site). 

Building Your Community Ties with a Block Party
This article comes from the April, 2019 edition of the Parish Paper. You can access this and past Parish Papers from the synod web site . These articles make great council meeting conversation starters, adult education materials, personal/group devotions materials, etc.

Some neighborhoods feel more secure once neighbors have become acquainted. Church leaders wanting to get to know their community could organize a block party. It can be a great way to meet the neighbors and develop friendships. A key goal of a block party, besides having fun, should be to build relationships among the strangers in our midst. The first steps when planning a block party are developing a simple theme (such as a color or a holiday) or highlighting a community issue that needs to
be addressed (such as saving the community garden). Here are seven steps for organizing a block party...

Easter Message from Bishop Eaton
"...This is the joy we feel at Easter, but magnified. All of the hope that had been
dashed on Good Friday, the terrible pressure of grief, the terrible pressure of
knowing there was no future in the world, only on Sunday to be greeted not
by the ringing of a telephone announcing death but the loud clear singing of alleluias... Easter makes it possible, even at the grave, to sing "Alleluia!" "

Mark your Calendar
Click on the calendar to go to the synod calendar to learn more about these events
For Your Information
Church Sign Letters Available
Holy Trinity, Port Charlotte, has shifted to an electronic sign, and so have a set of church sign letters available. The letters measure 8 1/4" high. If your congregation could use these letters, please contact Pr. Ken Barrios (pastorken@htlchurch.org) with questions or for more information.
Get Ready for Synod Assembly: Photo Directory Update
ATTENTION ALL ROSTERED MINISTERS with a Call or in Interim Ministry:

As you know, the Florida-Bahamas Synod has provided annual Photo Directories for the last 4 years. We hope this is a useful tool for our leaders – a way to put a name with a face...a way to see who is serving where ...and a way to circulate current contact information.
Each photo in the directory has a ‘year’ in the top left hand corner (or no date).
  • If your picture year is 2016, 2017 or 2018 – you are all set.
  • If your picture is not in the directory, and you have a Call (either in specialized or parochial ministry) or you are active in Interim Ministry….please plan to have your picture taken at this year’s Assembly.
  • If your picture is dated 2015….or there is no date…..you will need to sit for a new picture for the 2019 Directory. (or not be listed in the 2019 Directory)
Bring your smile!
Job Opportunities

Peace, Ft. Myers
Peace, Ft. Myers, is seeking a part-time Publication Administrative Assistant. This positions’ primary responsibilities are to produce the printed weekly, monthly and seasonal publications for Peace along with slides for Sunday services.  

Hope Lutheran Church, Daytona
Small community-based church in Daytona Beach, Florida is seeking a part-time office manager to coordinate the church’s administrative functions to include creation, maintenance and archival of official records; writing, editing and publication of reports, documents, newsletters, bulletins and directories; interacting with internal and external persons and entities via oral and written communications; promoting and assisting with special events; establishing and maintaining church activity calendar; conducting facility leasing; collecting and depositing funds; and ordering supplies.

Luther Springs Summer Staff
Luther Springs still has great job opportunities for summer staff this summer. If you are looking to make an impact in the world and have a fun experience this summer there is no better place to do that than on the Luther Springs summer staff. To learn more and to apply NOW go to https://www.luthersprings.org/summer-staff
Bishop's Calendar
  • Synod Office
  • Faith, Ormond Beach (Installation of Rev. Pam O'Donnell)
  • Lamb of God, Haines City
  • Washington, DC (ELCA Advocacy Days)